Event Participants

Special Appearance

The Honorable Joseph R. Biden, Jr.

46th President of the United States of America

Featured Participants

(in order of appearance)

Mr. Gary A. Sinise

For nearly 40 years, Gary Sinise has stood as an advocate on behalf of America’s service members. It began in the early ‘80s, supporting local Vietnam veterans groups in the Chicago area, and into the ‘90s, when his portrayal of Lt. Dan [in Forrest Gump] formed an enduring connection with service members throughout the military community. Since then, Sinise has worked on behalf of the Disabled American Veterans organization, which he continues to actively support today. Following the attacks of September 11, 2001, Sinise’s dedication to our nation’s active duty defenders, veterans, first responders and their families has become a tireless crusade of support, service and gratitude for all those who protect our freedom and serve our country.

Gary Sinise’s stage, film and television career has spanned more than four decades and includes nominations for Golden Globe, Screen Actors Guild and Academy Awards, and earned the Best Supporting Actor Award from the National Board of Review and the Commander’s Award from the Disabled American Veterans.

Mr. Daniel S. Dayton, Executive Director, WWI Centennial Commission

Mr. Dayton, a senior U.S. Government Executive, was appointed as the Executive Director of the World War I Centennial Commission in 2015. He has served as the Designated Federal Official for the Commission since 2013.

Before coming to the Commission, Mr. Dayton was engaged in special project work for the Science and Technology Directorate (S&T) of the U.S Department of Homeland Security from 2012-2014. He was detailed from S&T to the U.S. Naval History and Heritage Command (NHHC) from 2011 to 2012 to lead public affairs efforts in connection with the Navy’s Commemoration of the Bicentennial of the War of 1812 and the Star-Spangled Banner, an effort which resulted in exposure for the Navy of 500,000 people in 15 cities over 120 days. Mr. Dayton’s broad business background includes radio and television station ownership over a span of more than 20 years.

In addition to his civilian accomplishments, Dan was active as a member of the U.S. Navy Reserve, retiring from that service as a Captain in February of 2005. His last assignment was as Commanding Officer of the reserve public affairs unit providing key support to the U.S. Strategic Command in Omaha, Nebraska.

Congressman Emanuel Cleaver, II

Emanuel Cleaver, II is now serving his seventh term representing Missouri’s Fifth Congressional District, the home district of President Harry Truman. Representative Cleaver has long been a supporter of World War I educational programs including the National World War I Museum and Memorial in Kansas City, MO. He worked in partnership with Representative Ted Poe in 2013 to create the World War I Centennial Commission.

In 2018, Representative Cleaver received the Harry S. Truman Good Neighbor Award, the highest honor bestowed by the Harry S. Truman Good Neighbor Award Foundation. Past honorees include President Bill Clinton, the late Senator John McCain, and Justice Sandra Day O’Connor.

Mr. Edwin L. Fountain, Former Vice Chairman, WWI Centennial Commission & WWI Memorial Visionary

Edwin Fountain has served as General Counsel of the American Battle Monuments Commission, the Federal agency which tends and maintains American military cemeteries and monuments around the world, since March 2015. He was previously a partner in the Washington, D.C. office of the international law firm Jones Day, where he practiced for 24 years.

Fountain, the grandson of two World War I veterans, was appointed to the World War I Centennial Commission in 2013 by the then-Majority Leader of the United States Senate, Senator Harry Reid, and served as Vice Chair of the Commission from 2014 to 2019. Along with Commissioner Libby O’Connell, he led the development of the National World War I Memorial, from drafting the memorial legislation and leading the design competition to overseeing the design evolution, shepherding it through the regulatory approval process, and curating the commemorative elements at the site.

In 2008, Fountain co-founded the World War I Memorial Foundation, which successfully advocated for funding to restore the District of Columbia’s World War I Memorial on the National Mall, and which advocated for establishment of a national World War I Memorial in the nation’s capital. He is past president of the DC Preservation League, the leading historic preservation non-profit in Washington D.C.

The Honorable Ted Poe, Former US Congressman

Ted Poe was a Representative from Texas from 2005-2019. Born in Temple, Bell County, Tex., he served in the United States Air Force Reserves from 1970-1976. Before his election to Congress, Poe was a teacher; lawyer in private practice; district attorney of Harris County, Houston, Tex., 1973-1981; and district judge, Harris County, Houston, Tex., 1981-2003.

In 2012, Representative Poe co-sponsored the World War I Centennial Commission Act “To establish a commission to ensure a suitable observance of the centennial of World War I, to provide for the designation of memorials to the service of members of the United States Armed Forces in World War I, and for other purposes.” After the Act was signed into law in 2013, Poe was appointed a Commissioner to the United States World War I Centennial Commission by the Speaker of the House, serving briefly in that capacity. In 2014 he joined the Board of Directors of the United States Foundation for the Commemoration of the World Wars, and has served since as the head of the Foundation’s Audit Committee.

Ms. Sandra S. Pershing, Special Advisor, WWI Centennial Commission

Sandra Pershing is the granddaughter-in-law of General of the Armies John J. Pershing. She is a Special Advisor to the World War I Centennial Commission and is Director Emeritus of the Pershing Rifles Group.

After a long career in the real estate field, Pershing now volunteers in the New York area. She is a volunteer at Phoenix House, where she provides special support of Phoenix House’s national Military Service Programs, which deal with PTSD and other military service-related experiences and injuries. Pershing also works with the Board of Women’s Prison Association and serves on the Board of the Doughboy Foundation.

The Honorable Carol Moseley Braun, Former US Senator & Ambassador

Ambassador Carol Moseley Braun was the first African American woman elected to the United States Senate, and the first and only woman to be elected to the Senate from Illinois, serving from 1993-1999. She was nominated by President Bill Clinton in 1999 to be the U.S. Ambassador to New Zealand and Samoa. Ambassador Moseley Braun is the first and only United States Ambassador to be made a member of the Te Atiawa Maori tribe.

Ambassador Moseley Braun previously served as an assistant United States Attorney, member of the Illinois House of Representatives, becoming the first African-American woman to serve as assistant majority leader. From 1988-1992, she served as the Recorder of Deeds for Cook County, Illinois, the first woman and first African-America to hold an executive office in Cook County.

Ambassador Braun sits on the Diplomatic Advisory Board for the World War I Centennial Commission and is a Board member of The Doughboy Foundation.

Meredith S. Carr, Deputy Director, WWI Centennial Commission

Meredith Carr joined the WWI Centennial Commission staff in May 2014. Previously, she was a member of the United States Navy’s Strategic Communications team for the International Commemoration of the Bicentennial of the War of 1812; incorporating foreign and domestic tall sailing ships, warships and the Blue Angels squadron in over 14 cities in the US and Canada. Prior to her assignment for the U.S. Navy, Ms. Carr was the Operations Manager at CBS News’ Washington Bureau. She served as the U.S. Capitol Anchor Site Production Manager for the Evening News with Katie Couric and Face the Nation with Bob Schieffer. Select events include 2009 Presidential Inauguration, 2008-10 State of the Union Addresses, and all special events anchored from Washington, DC.

COL. (IL.) Jennifer N. Pritzker, IL ARNG (Ret.)

COL (IL) Pritzker is a retired Lieutenant Colonel of the United States Army and upon her retirement in 2001, was promoted to the rank of honorary Colonel in the Illinois National Guard. A historian, businesswoman, investor, developer, and philanthropist; she founded TAWANI Enterprises in 1994, a visionary umbrella organization with a private equity portfolio consisting of startup and mature innovative companies in various industries, as well as nonprofit interests through foundation work and military history and education organizations.

Through her lifelong giving, she founded the TAWANI Foundation, and Pritzker Military Foundation to promote both her personal and military philanthropic interests. A veteran with a love of history, she founded the Pritzker Military Museum & Library in 2003 to promote and preserve the stories of the Citizen Soldier. The Pritzker Military Museum & Library is the founding sponsor of the WWI Centennial Commission.

Major General William M. Matz, U.S. Army (Ret.) 8th Secretary of ABMC

Major General. William M. Matz, U.S. Army (Ret.) served as the 8th Secretary of ABMC, having been appointed by President Donald Trump in January 2018. Matz is a highly decorated combat veteran with a distinguished military career spanning five decades.

As an infantryman, he served in Korea and Panama, and as a company commander with the 9th Infantry Division in Vietnam, where he was wounded in action in the 1968 Tet offensive. He served in the 82nd and 101st Airborne Divisions and was executive secretary to two secretaries of defense, Caspar Weinberger and Frank Carlucci. Matz served two years with the Navy/Marine Corps amphibious forces in the Pacific during a second tour in Vietnam, and deployed with the 7th Infantry Division to Panama during Operation JUST CAUSE in 1989.

Upon retirement from the Army, Matz worked for Raytheon Company as vice president, Army Programs followed by general manager for Vinnell/Northrop Grumman’s Saudi Arabian National Guard Modernization Program in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia. President George W. Bush appointed him to the Veterans’ Disability Benefits Commission. He is also past President of the National Association for Uniformed Services. He is on the Eisenhower Institute National Advisory Council and a member of the Board of Directors of the American Armed Forces Mutual Aid Association.

His military service awards and decorations include the Distinguished Service Cross, Defense Distinguished Service Medal, Silver Star, Legion of Merit, Bronze Star for Valor, Purple Heart and the Combat Infantryman Badge.

General Mark A. Milley, USA, 20th Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff

General Mark A. Milley is the 20th Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, the nation’s highest-ranking military officer, and the principal military advisor to the President, Secretary of Defense, and National Security Council.

Prior to becoming Chairman on October 1, 2019, General Milley served as the 39th Chief of Staff of the U.S. Army.

A native of Massachusetts, General Milley graduated from Princeton University in 1980, where he received his commission from Army ROTC. General Milley has had multiple command and staff positions in eight divisions and Special Forces throughout the last 39 years to include command of the 1st Battalion, 506th Infantry, 2nd Infantry Division; the 2nd Brigade, 10th Mountain Division; Deputy Commanding General, 101st Airborne Division (Air Assault); Commanding General, 10th Mountain Division; Commanding General, III Corps; and Commanding General, U.S. Army Forces Command.

While serving as the Commanding General, III Corps, General Milley deployed as the Commanding General, International Security Assistance Force Joint Command and Deputy Commanding General, U.S. Forces Afghanistan. General Milley’s joint assignments also include the Joint Staff operations directorate and as a Military Assistant to the Secretary of Defense.

In addition to his bachelor’s degree in political science from Princeton University, General Milley has a master’s degree in international relations from Columbia University and one from the U.S. Naval War College in national security and strategic studies. He is also a graduate of the MIT Seminar XXI National Security Studies Program.

Colonel Gerald E. York, USA (Ret.)

Gerald York is the Grandson of Sgt Alvin C. York, Medal of Honor recipient in World War One. He currently is the Chairman, Sgt York Patriotic Foundation, a rebirth of his Grandfather’s Foundation started in the 1920’s to bring education to his community in Tennessee. The Foundation is currently restoring the original school building built by Sgt York in 1926, www.sgtyork.org.

He was commissioned a Second Lieutenant from Vanderbilt University Army ROTC program in 1969 and has over 31 years of experience in the US Army serving in a variety of positions at both the operational and headquarters levels. He served in Vietnam as an Adviser, as a staff officer with the XVIII Abn Corps, as Base Commander in Korea and various other positions during his career. He retired in December of 2000 as Chief of Operations for the Defense HUMINT Service.

After retirement he was Vice President and later President of Phoenix Consulting Group which provided specialized training to DoD personnel.

The Honorable David L. Bernhardt, 53rd Secretary of the Interior

David L. Bernhardt served as the 53rd Secretary of the U.S. Department of the Interior. He has been a staunch supporter of the National World War I Memorial.

As Secretary of the Interior, Bernhardt lead an agency with more than 70,000 employees who are stewards for 20 percent of the nation’s lands, including national parks, monuments, wildlife refuges and other public lands. The National World War I Memorial is under his jurisdiction in the National Park Service.

From 2001 to 2009, he held several positions within the Department of the Interior, including serving as Solicitor. Prior to that, he served then-Secretary Norton as a deputy solicitor, deputy chief of staff and counselor to the Secretary, and as director of Congressional and Legislative affairs and counselor to the Secretary.

The Honorable Deb Haaland, 54th Secretary of the Interior

Secretary Deb Haaland made history when she became the first Native American to serve as a cabinet secretary. Throughout her career in public service, Secretary Haaland has broken barriers and opened the doors of opportunity for future generations. She was elected one of the first Native American women to serve in Congress and was the first Native American woman to lead a state political party in the country.

A member of the Pueblo of Laguna and 35th generation New Mexican, Secretary Haaland understands the struggles families in America face and often points to her experience as a single mom living paycheck-to-paycheck to advocate for everyday families. In Congress, she focused on environmental justice, climate change, veterans issues, missing and murdered indigenous women, supporting Tribal issues, and family-friendly policies.

She attended 13 public schools as a child raised in a military family before graduating from Highland High School in Albuquerque. At the age of 28, Secretary Haaland enrolled at the University of New Mexico (UNM) where she earned a Bachelor’s degree in English and later earned her J.D. from UNM Law School. After law school, she ran her own salsa company, worked as a Tribal administrator at San Felipe Pueblo, and was appointed the first woman to chair the Laguna Development Corporation where she advocated for environmentally friendly policies and oversaw business operations of the second largest tribal gaming enterprise in New Mexico.

Mr. Joseph Weishaar, WWI Memorial Lead Designer

Joe Weishaar is a registered architect practicing in Washington, DC. A relative newcomer to the architecture profession, Joe is quickly expanding his horizons with nationally and internationally recognized work. Most notably, in 2015 his design was selected out of 365 international entries for the National WW1 Memorial in Washington, DC. In 2011 he placed second individually in the Lyceum Fellowship Competition sponsored by the Lyceum Fellowship of Boston. In 2010 he was a part of the team that completed the HABS/HABER documentation of the Fay and Gus Jones Residence, which garnered the Peterson Prize for historic documentation from the Library of Congress.

Joe has traveled extensively to participate in design studios taught in Mexico City at the Casa Barragan, and to Europe under the auspices of the Lyceum Traveling Fellowship. In 2012 he used this opportunity to take up residence in Rome in order to study the ancient housing typologies of Pompeii.

In 2016, Joe was named as one of Crain’s Chicago Business’ Emerging Voices as part of their 20 in their 20’s series and has been profiled in an array of media venues for his continued work on the National World War I Memorial. Joe is an active oil and oil pastel painter and has participated in multiple gallery exhibitions in Chicago. Joe Weishaar has experience designing memorials, mixed-use developments, commercial build-outs, and single family residences.

The Honorable Mitch McConnell, Minority Leader, US Senate

Mitch McConnell represents the Commonwealth of Kentucky in the United States Senate and currently serves as the Senate Minority Leader. He is the grandson and grand nephew of World War I warriors. Senator McConnell is an appointing authority to the World War I Centennial Commission, with Chairman Terry Hamby, serving as his appointee.

Senator McConnell is the longest-serving Senate Republican Leader in the history of the United States. McConnell previously served in leadership as the Majority Whip in the 108th and 109th Congresses and as chairman of the National Republican Senatorial Committee during the 1998 and 2000 election cycles.

First elected to the Senate in 1984, McConnell is Kentucky’s longest-serving senator. Before his election to the Senate, he served as judge-executive of Jefferson County, Kentucky, from 1978 until he commenced his Senate term on January 3, 1985.

McConnell currently serves as a senior member of the Appropriations, Agriculture and Rules Committees.

Mr. Terry W. Hamby, Chairman, WWI Centennial Commission

Terry Hamby is the Chairman of the World War I Centennial Commission. A Vietnam veteran, Mr. Hamby served in the Naval Air Wing during the conflict. After discharge he joined the US Army Reserves, retiring with 26 years of service in 1993. Mr. Hamby is part of a family filled with a tradition of military service with his Great Grandfather serving in the Civil War Union Army, his Grandfather was in the Army during World War I, his father served in the Army Pacific Theater during World War II, and his son served in the Navy during the Persian Gulf War. As a result, Mr. Hamby has dedicated his life to serving and honoring our U.S. military and is a Life Member of the Veterans of Foreign Wars.

Mr. Hamby has over 45 years of experience providing Base Operations and Support Services and Construction for the Department of Defense, both as a civil servant and later as a contractor. He was the founder and CEO of BMAR & Associates, Inc., which provided services to the Department of Defense in CONUS and OCONUS to include the Far East, Middle East, Africa, Europe and Central America.

As a native Kentuckian, Mr. Hamby has been actively involved in Community Military Affairs for over 25 years. He was awarded the Department of Army Commander’s Award for Public Service for his work with the Association of the United States Army, Ft. Campbell and Citizens for Ft. Campbell Group. The mission of this group is working to improve the Quality of Life for the Soldiers and Families of the 101st Airborne Division (Air Assault), Ft. Campbell and the US Army. He was also recognized by the Commander as an honorary member of the 101st Airborne Division, (Air Assault).

Mr. Hamby is keenly interested in the memorialization of significant events in history, so our citizens are aware of the accomplishments of our service members and never forget their sacrifices that shaped and protected this great experiment of Democracy. He was appointed to the World War I Centennial Commission by Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell and was elected Chair on September 13, 2017.

The Honorable John W. Warner, III

John Warner serves as a Special Advisor to the WWI Centennial Commission.

Upon graduation, in 1953, from the law school at the University of Virginia, he served as a law clerk for Federal Circuit Judge Prettyman, then for 4 years as an Assistant U.S. Attorney for the District of Columbia, and then joined the firm and became a junior partner.

In 1969 he received a Presidential appointment as Under Secretary of Navy and later became the 61st Secretary of the Navy during the period of conflict in Vietnam. In 1979 he was elected to the U.S. Senate and served for five consecutive terms establishing a record of being the second longest-serving Senator in the history of the Commonwealth of Virginia. He returned to the practice of law at Hogan Lovells in 2009.

At 17 years old, he enlisted in Navy during the last year of World War II and attained the rank of Petty Officer 3/c; subsequently, he re-enlisted in the Marine Corps, was commissioned, and served in Korea in 1951 to 1952 as a First Lieutenant.

During his 30 years in the Senate, Senator Warner served as a member on the Armed Services Committee; and during his final years the Committee members elected him to leadership positions: first as Ranking Republican, then for his last six years he was full Committee Chair.

Between 1974 and 1976, Senator Warner was confirmed by the U.S. Senate to serve as Administrator for the American Revolution Bicentennial Administration, where he administered federal programs and grants to all 50 states; and coordinated with 22 foreign nations that participated in this historic 200-year anniversary of the founding of our nation.

Admiral Michael G. Mullen, USN (Ret.), 17th Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff

Admiral Mike Mullen serves as a Special Advisor to the World War I Centennial Commission.

His military career was highlighted by his four years as Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, the top military advisor to Presidents George W. Bush and Barack Obama. He brought bold and original thinking to the work of strengthening the U.S. military and advocating for those who serve.

Mullen oversaw the end of the combat mission in Iraq and the development of a new military strategy for Afghanistan, while promoting international partnerships, new technologies and new counter-terrorism tactics culminating in the killing of Osama bin Laden.

A 1968 graduate from the U.S. Naval Academy in Annapolis, Maryland, Mullen sought challenging positions including command at every level to develop his leadership skills during his naval career. He rose to be Chief of Naval Operations prior to assuming duties as Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff.

Since retiring from the Navy, Mullen has joined the boards of General Motors, Sprint and the Bloomberg Family Foundation. He teaches at the Woodrow Wilson School of International and Public Affairs at Princeton University. He is also known for his efforts on behalf of service members, veterans and their families.

The Honorable Leon E. Panetta, 23rd Secretary of Defense

Secretary Panetta serves as a Special Advisor to the World War I Centennial Commission.

Unanimously confirmed in 2011 by the U.S. Senate as the twenty-third Secretary of Defense, Leon E. Panetta has had a fifty year career in public service at the highest levels of government: as Secretary of Defense, he established a new defense strategy; as Director of the CIA, he successfully led the operation that brought Osama bin Laden to justice.

Secretary Panetta began his public service career in 1964 as a First Lieutenant in the U.S. Army, receiving the Army Commendation Medal, and then served as a legislative assistant to U.S. Senator Tom Kuchel. In 1969, he was appointed Director of the Office for Civil Rights at the Department of Health, Education and Welfare, where he was responsible for enforcing equal education laws.

Elected to Congress in 1976, Secretary Panetta represented the California Central Coast district for sixteen years and created the Monterey Bay National Marine Sanctuary. In 1993, he was sworn in as Director of the U.S. Office of Management and Budget for the Clinton administration and later was appointed White House chief of staff, working to achieve a balanced federal budget.

In 1997, Secretary Panetta returned to his hometown of Monterey to establish and co-direct The Panetta Institute for Public Policy, a non-partisan, not-for-profit study center that seeks to inspire men and women to lives of public service. He is currently Chairman of the Institute.

General Barry R. McCaffrey, USA (Ret.)

General Barry R. McCaffrey serves as a Special Advisor to the World War I Centennial Commission.

He is President of BR McCaffrey Associates, a consulting firm based in Arlington, Virginia and serves as a national security and terrorism analyst for NBC News.

General McCaffrey served in the United States Army for 32 years. When he retired in 1996, he was the most decorated General serving in the United States Army, having been awarded 3 Purple Heart Medals for wounds received in combat, 2 Distinguished Service Crosses (the nation’s second highest award for valor), and 2 Silver Stars for valor. He served overseas for more than 12 years —and 4 combat tours with the 82nd Abn Division, the Vietnamese Airborne Division, the 1st Cavalry Division, and the 24th Mech Infantry Division.

For five years after leaving the military, General McCaffrey served as the Director of the White House Office of National Drug Control Policy (ONDCP). Upon leaving government service, he served as the Bradley Distinguished Professor of International Security Studies from 2001-2005; and an Adjunct Professor of International Security Studies from 2006-2010 at the United States Military Academy at West Point, NY. He served as an Associate Professor in the Department of Social Sciences from 1973-1976 teaching American Government and Comparative Politics.

General McCaffrey was elected to the Board of Directors of CRC Health Corporation and the Atlantic Council of the United States. He is also: a member of the Council on Foreign Relations; an Associate of the InterAmerican Dialogue; Chairman of the Vietnam Veterans Memorial Education Center Advisory Board; and a member of the Board of Advisors of the National Infantry Foundation, as well as the National Armor & Cavalry Heritage Foundation. General McCaffrey has had a long association with the Phoenix House Foundation, a non-profit dedicated to drug and alcohol abuse treatment, prevention and therapy.

Featured Performances

The United States Army Band, “Pershing’s Own”

The U.S. Army Band, “Pershing’s Own” has been the premier musical organization of the U.S. Army since 1922. The musicians of “Pershing’s Own” render musical honors for foreign dignitaries, heads of state, diplomats and high-ranking military officers. “Pershing’s Own” is the greatest non-threatening force in today’s Army and its duty is to bring about a patriotic feeling of honor and pride for the United States and for those serving to protect its way of life.

The 369th Experience

The 369th Experience is part of a series of events endorsed by the World War I Centennial Commission and sponsored in part by The Coca Cola Foundation to commemorate the 100th anniversary of World War I.

A key component of this celebration is the recreation of the 369th Regimental Band. A band, which in its original form, consisted of 65 African American and Puerto Rican gentlemen who charmed the hearts and minds of Americans and Europeans.

Led by Bandmaster, James Reese Europe and Drum Major and Lead Vocalist, Noble Sissle, the famous Harlem Hell Fighters regimental band’s spirited arrangements of ragtime, jazz and blues first introduced European audiences to the novel sounds of this American music.

Funded by a generous grant from The Coca Cola Foundation, this new 369th Experience Student Band will be taught the history and repertoire of the original Harlem Hell Fighters Band and will retrace their steps performing the band’s repertoire at centennial celebrations in New York City; Brest and Paris, France; and a host of other historical locales.

Lee Greenwood

With 7 #1 songs & 25 charted singles to his credit, Lee Greenwood has won numerous industry awards. His “God Bless the USA” has been in the top 5 on the country singles charts 3 times. CBS News has voted it the most recognizable patriotic song in America.

The Hello Girls

From New York to Paris, from ragtime to jazz: The Hello Girls chronicles the story of America’s first women soldiers in this new musical inspired by history. These intrepid heroines served as bilingual telephone operators on the front lines, helping turn the tide of World War I. They then returned home to fight a decades-long battle for equality and recognition, paving the way for future generations. The Hello Girls was commissioned and premiered by NYC’s Prospect Theater Company to celebrate the centennial of these groundbreaking women.

Joint Armed Forces Color Guard

The Joint Armed Forces Color Guard is made up of nine service members from the Army, Marine Corps, Navy, Air Force, Space Force and Coast Guard. The color guard presents and retires the national colors and their service branch colors at ceremonies to honor the flag and the Nation.

U.S. Air Force 94th Fighter Squadron

Organized as the 94th Aero Squadron at Kelly Field, Texas on 20 August 1917, the squadron began its long and prestigious history in air warfare. The 94th performed the first patrol flown by an American‑trained squadron in France during World War I, on March 6, 1918, flying the Nieuport 28. On 14 April 1918, Lieutenants Alan Winslow and Douglas Campbell each downed a German aircraft for the first aerial victories in squadron history. The 94th is also credited with the last aerial victory of the war on 10 November 1918, one day before the Armistice. With such famous members as Eddie Rickenbacker, James Meissner, and Douglas Campbell, and under the mentorship of the Lafayette Escadrille’s most lethal pilot, Raoul Lufbery, the “Hat‑in‑the-Ring Gang” scored nearly 70 kills during the war, more than any other squadron, flying the Nieuport 28 and SPAD XIII.

Today, the “Hat‑in‑the‑Ring” stands as a cohesive combat-experienced team ready for any call to support our nation’s security requirements. The 94th continues the traditions of the Lafayette Escadrille, waiting to face any challenge, anywhere, and carries the spirit of Eddie Rickenbacker and the “Hat‑in‑the‑Ring Gang” into every fight after nearly 100 years of air power.